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January 30, 2015

JCRC Stands in Solidarity with Israel in Defending Itself against Lethal Attacks from Lebanon

JCRC also praises Upper Midwest U.S. Congressional support of Israel

Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement expressing solidarity with Israel in defending itself against a barrage of lethal attacks from the Iranian backed terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon and praises U.S. Congressional support of Israel:

“For decades, Iran has been a destabilizing force in the Middle East by inserting itself into the civil wars of Iraq, Lebanon, and most recently in Syria. As noted by The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, ‘nothing underscores the Iranian regime’s imperialistic, hegemonic nature more than its support for the Assad regime in Damascus. Without Iran’s assistance, Assad would have fallen a long time ago. The death toll in Syria is more than 200,000; half of Syria’s population has been displaced. These dark achievements of the Assad regime would not have been possible without Iran. Thousands of Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps troops and advisers, plus Iranian weaponry, have made all the difference for Assad.’

“This week’s cross-border Hezbollah attack in northern Israel, which killed two Israeli soldiers, Major Yochai Kalangel and Staff Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini, and left seven additional soldiers wounded, and targeted innocent civilians on the border, is just the latest provocation from Iran. The U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the attack: ‘The United States strongly condemns Hezbollah’s attack today from Lebanon on Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in blatant violation of the cease fire between Lebanon and Israel and UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which called for the immediate cessation by Hezbollah of all attacks. We support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and continue to urge all parties to respect the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. We urge all parties to refrain from any action that could escalate the situation.’

“Notably, this week’s violence comes one week after the highly suspicious death of Alberto Nisman, the Jewish Argentinian prosecutor who was prepared to release damaging evidence of Iran’s involvement in the 1994 terror attack on the AMIA Jewish center which killed 85 people. According to the Times of Israel, Alberto Nisman was buried yesterday in the same section of the main Jewish cemetery in Buenos Aires as the victims in the 1994 AMIA bombing.

“The JCRC also praises the overwhelmingly bipartisan passage of the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2015 (S.269) by the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Specifically, the JCRC praises Senators Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Mike Rounds (S.D.) for their affirmative vote.

“Lastly, the JCRC applauds a letter sent this week to Secretary of State John Kerry by 75 U.S. Senators expressing concern for the Palestinian Authority’s bid to join the International Criminal Court. The letter states that ‘President Abbas’ effort contravenes the spirit of earlier agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and erodes the prospects for peace. Therefore, the United States must make clear that joining the ICC is not a legitimate or viable path for the Palestinians.’ We thank Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN), Al Franken (MN), John Hoeven (ND), John Thune (SD), and Mike Rounds (SD) for signing this letter.”

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As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.